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College of Arts and Sciences

Pianist Jung to present recital on March 23

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, College of Arts and Sciences | No Comments

The Delta State University Department of Music presents pianist Joonghan Jonathan Jung in a recital at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on March 23 at 7:30 p.m.

The recital will feature piano solo works by Beethoven, Bach/Busoni, Liszt, Scriabin and Vine. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Department of Music at 662-846-4615.

Born in South Korea, pianist Jung also lived in New Zealand and concertizes regularly across the U.S., New Zealand, Australia and Japan. He has performed with the Eastman Philharmonic Orchestra, Korean Philharmonic Orchestra of New Zealand, and University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra. Jung has received prizes in Kerikeri International Piano Competition, Eastman Concerto Competition, Kapiti Coast National Piano Competition and the Christchurch National Piano Concerto Competition.

He has performed as a guest artist at the Texas State International Piano Festival in San Marcos, Texas, and he is making his debut performance at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall on June 22. His solo recitals and concerto performances have been recorded and broadcasted by Radio New Zealand and World TV, and he has been featured in public master classes with renowned pianists including Joseph Banowetz, Bao Hui-qiao, Piers Lane, Marina Lomazov, Jura Margulis, Hiroko Nakamura, John Perry, Martin Roscoe, Vladimir Tropp and Arie Vardi.

Jung completed a Master of Music degree and Bachelor of Music (Honors) with First Class at the University of Auckland. He relocated to the U.S. in 2009 to complete a Doctor of Musical Arts  (2016), Master of Arts in Theory Pedagogy (2015), and Master of Music (2011) at the Eastman School of Music. His academic mentors include Barry Snyder, Rae de Lisle, Read Gainsford, Douglas Humpherys, Thomas Schumacher, Steven Laitz, Elizabeth Marvin, Katherine Ciesinski, David Temperley and Matthew Brown.

Additionally, he has a passion for collecting rare historical music recordings of the early 20th century. He is now combining this passion with his academic interest — music theory and music analysis. His current research is on tempo rubato, an in-depth comparative study between 19th and 20th century pianists’ interpretations. His thesis, entitled “Structural Hearing of Rubato,” is a pedagogical study of tempo fluctuation in music performance, focusing on motives, counterpoint and harmonization. He has presented his research in MMTA State Conference and, most recently, at the CMS Conference.

Jung taught applied piano, music theory, aural skills and class piano sequences at Southwestern Oklahoma State University as an assistant professor of piano and music theory. He recently joined the piano faculty position at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Mississippi to reunite with his family and to continue his teaching, research and performance career.

Delta Players present “Speech & Debate”

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

The Delta Players will present “Speech & Debate,” March 22-25 at 7 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium on the Delta State University campus.

The play was written by Stephen Karam, who recently won a Tony Award for his play “The Humans.”

Co-sponsors for the play include the Delta Music Institute and DSU’s Quality Enhancement Plan. Voluntary monetary donations for Delta State University’s Gay-Straight Alliance will be collected after the show.

“Dr. Kilby Allen, the director, has done a terrific job of balancing the play’s humor with the core drama of three socially awkward teenagers struggling with their emerging sexual identities in modern America,” said Don Allan Mitchell of the Division of Languages & Literature, which is producing the play.

“The darkly-comic play is definitely not a play for younger audiences. The film based on the play is rated PG-13,” added Mitchell. “There are interweaving sex scandals, dancing actors in flesh-colored body stockings and purple underwear, and a Broadway musical presentation of alternative facts concerning Abraham Lincoln’s sexual orientation. In short, it is precisely the type of challenging material that college drama groups should be presenting to audiences.”

Cast members include Delta State students Layla Young as Diwata, Logan Swain as Howie, Jess Bennett as Solomon, and future Cleveland Central High School student Ginny Smith playing the double role of the teacher/reporter. The stage manager is Delta State staff member Mallory Shemwell. The technical director is Amber Wolfe, who earned two degrees at Delta State and is the drama sponsor at Cleveland High School.

“Over the last few semesters, Ms. Wolfe has been very supportive of the Delta Players, and the Division of Languages & Literature will continue to collaborate with her and her student productions in the very near feature,” staid Mitchell.

The play is free and open to the public, with the condition that audience members acknowledge the play’s challenging content at the sign-in and information table in the lobby.

For more information, contact the Division of Languages & Literature at 662-846-4060 or Mitchell at amitchell@deltastate.edu.

Environmental science presents at Mississippi Academy of Sciences

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Four Delta State environmental science students and two professors presented at the 81st annual meeting of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences (MAS) in Hattiesburg on Feb. 23-24.

Two presentations were given during the oral session as a part of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Division of MAS.

Heather Brewer, a senior at Delta State, received the first place graduate and undergraduate award for her presentation entitled, “Impact of urbanization on bird nest materials in the Mississippi Delta,” co-authored by herself, Alexis Patterson and Dr. AHM Reza, assistant professor of biology at Delta State. 

In absence of undergraduate student Christian Frew, Reza presented, “What can affect the movement patterns of white-tailed deer in central Mississippi,” co-authored by the duo. Both of these presentations were a product of Reza’s vertebrate biology courses, ornithology and mammalogy.

Four poster presentations were also given at the division’s poster session.

Patterson and Brewer received a second place award for their poster entitled, “Prey remains found in 24 owl pellets from Carolina Biological Science,” co-authored by Patterson, Brewer, Karoline Lambert, Madison Zoeller, Roxy Kimes, Dr. Eric Blackwell and Dr. Baghai-Riding.

Student Brittany Husley gave her presentation, “Comparison of dental changes in Varans exanthematicus to ontogenetics shifts in diet,” co-authored by herself, Christine Beck, Baghai-Riding and Blackwell.

Baghai-Riding presented two poster presentations, “Effects of wild hogs at Dahomey National Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi,” co-authored by Matthew Galloway, Peyton Hamblin, Mitchel Coleman, Brady Chambley, Matt McGregor; and “Bird surveys conducted at Bear Pen Park, Cleveland, Mississippi,” c0-authored by Sheketra Bell, Jarrica Carey, DeAndra Felton, Monique Price and Kimberely Davis. The posters were a product of Baghai-Riding’s  conservation biology course.

This year’s MAS annual meeting had its largest attendance with over 1,000 attendees. Reza plans to establish a stronger Delta State presence for the 2018 event and seeks all appropriate disciplines to consider joining.

In addition, Reza chaired the EEB Division of MAS in 2016-17. Baghai-Riding and Reza served as judges for the zoology and entomology poster presentations. Also, Reza will serve as the chair of the EEB Division and Baghai-Riding will serve as the vice chair for 2017-18.

To learn more about the Delta State’s environmental science program, contact Baghai-Riding (nbaghai@deltastate.edu) or Reza (areza@deltastate.edu), or call the Department of Biological Sciences at 662-846-4240.

Annual juried student art show coming to gallery

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Students | No Comments

Delta State University’s Department of Art invites the public to the opening of its annual juried student exhibition on March 9 from 5-7 p.m. in the Fielding L. Wright Art Center gallery.

The annual exhibit allows the department to highlight the work art students have produced in the past year, and affords students an opportunity to gain professional experience by preparing work for exhibition and submitting it to a jury process. Students are also eligible to win monetary awards in a variety of categories. The awards are made possible through the generous support of art patrons from the Cleveland community.

This year’s juror is Joshua Vincent, a Delta State graduate who teaches at the Mississippi Delta Community College.

Vincent commended the quality of work submitted and said it reflects the diversity of the students’ aesthetics and interests.

Awards will be presented at 6 p.m. The exhibit will remain in the gallery from March 9 to April 20. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, contact the Department of Art at 662-846-4720.

Delta State and Eastern Michigan choirs collaborate for joint concert

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On Friday (Feb. 24), the Delta State University’s Delta Chorale, directed by Dr. Adam Potter, will host a joint concert with Eastern Michigan University’s premier choral ensemble, the EMU Concert Choir, directed by Dr. Brandon Johnson.

The EMU group, from Ypsilanti, Michigan, has been touring the South for the past week. Their performance in Cleveland will take place in the sanctuary of Covenant Presbyterian Church at 7:30 p.m.

For Potter, the collaboration has special meaning.

“This concert brings together so many people I know and love,” said Potter. “Obviously, it is a unique opportunity for my students to get to perform with a collegiate choir from over 800 miles away. It is also an honor to partner on this project with my church family, the kind folks at Covenant Church. The director of the EMU Concert Choir, Brandon Johnson, was my undergraduate and master’s degree conductor and teacher. A 2016 Delta State music alumna, Monica Ely, is a soprano in the EMU choir. Amazingly, a former student of mine from when I was a high school music teacher in New York is also an EMU singer, now a graduate student in vocal performance. My worlds intersect here in Cleveland.”

Prior to the concert, the choirs will share a joint rehearsal and clinic with Johnson, as well as share a meal together. Johnson is the director of Choral Activities at EMU and the artistic director and conductor of the Detroit Concert Choir. Previously, he founded and was the artistic director of the emerging professional vocal ensemble Vox Lumine based in New York.

Johnson has conducted professional musicians across the United States while maintaining his extensive work with students of all ages. He has performed in venues across the country including Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, and made his conducting debut at the renowned Carnegie Hall with the National Sacred Honor Choir. He holds degrees from Concordia College and The University of Arizona and was previously a faculty member at Houghton College.

The Delta Chorale is the premier touring vocal ensemble at Delta State. Comprised of approximately 40 mixed voices, it performs frequently both on and off campus. Its repertoire features high-quality choral music from diverse styles, musical eras, languages and cultures. The choir has performed by invitation at state and regional conferences of the Mississippi Music Educators Association and American Choral Directors Association.

Dr. Vernell Bennett, Delta State’s vice president for Student Affairs, will provide opening remarks at Friday evening’s concert. Coincidentally, Bennett is a graduate of the music program at EMU.

This concert is free of charge and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to help cover the expense of EMU’s trip to Cleveland.